Little does he know

Little does he know

Wee Mungo MacCallum is at it again! (Echo, April 13).

The scruffy expert on practically everything now distorts history when talking very calmingly about integration and race-relations, especially regarding our citizens of Muslim faith during Australias very short European history.

Mungo wrote (Quote): Muslims have been around in Australia for a long time since the arrival of the Afghan camel-drivers in fact and have never been considered a threat.

I disagree. I refer the author to the famous incident against innocent picnickers on a train at The Battle Of Broken Hill in 1915. Perhaps Mungo should keep to The only subject that he appears to know well and thus be on firmer ground with his many prognostications. His expertise is apparently the Bob Menzies/Gough Whitlam Era and the aspirations and gossip of politics long past. So my advice is to religiously stick to this in future.

Considering the last 10 years of PM Howards reign this out-of-date expertise could have a bit more relevance than our un-knowing, mortgage preoccupied and easily-led masses could have dreamed of in 1996.

Rob Andrews

East Lismore

Women on the ball

As much as I love our local free rag, one thing really annoys me. Wheres the chicks with balls and sticks? In your sports section there are blokes on bikes, blokes playing soccer, football, baseball and hockey, but no chicks. Arent women entitled to see their gender playing sports as much as men? I am a woman who loves sports of all kinds and I think that North Coast women deserve to be acknowledged as much as the men in their sports. Cmon guys, lets see more chicks with balls eh?

J Welch

South Lismore

Wed love people to tell us about more womens events and send in details, photos etc and well happily give them coverage. Men are very good at sending us stuff, which is why they tend to get greater exposure. Wed love to see more chicks with balls too. Sport ed.

Florrie to rise again

How symbolic that the hulk of the former MV Florrie should have collapsed during Easter.

And doubly significant, the cave-in was at the end of Heritage Week.

For 30 years the Florrie endured being battered by weather and vandals on the northern bank of the Richmond River at Ballina.

Built in 1880 at Brisbane Water, she was wrecked on December 12, 1882, at Ballina, and raised.

Captain Tom Fenwick restored her in 1883. She continued to work along the Richmond River for a phenomenal 92 years, until her 1975 retirement.

The Florries present owners, Ballina Shire Council, late last year allocated $60,000 for her to be moved under protective cover at Ballinas Maritime Museum.

This project is to be accomplished by the end of May.

So now must be the time for her second, final resurrection.

Marelle Lee

Lennox Head

Freedom to choose

The police have announced, once again, that they will not permit peaceful protest at the Nimbin MardiGrass by way of protestors smoking the herb of choice. I know that the use of a peaceful herb must bother the police to great extent. I dont see the police media saying they will no longer allow child abuse, drink driving or domestic violence! Daily reports of dwindling police numbers means the police cannot police the laws they have, much less the laws that are heaped on them at a rapidly accelerating rate! Users of marijuana are committing a victimless crime they smoke by choice. No-one forces it to be done.

I can only hope the government and their police wake up to themselves and deal with crimes with victims rather than the easy targets with a joint in their hand and a smile on their face.

Michael Wright

Mt Nardi

Settled in

My wife and I have just spent a delightful Easter in the Alstonville environs, as part of a cycling tour. This is clearly a very beautiful part of Australia.

We were fortunate enough to book accommodation at the Alstonville Settlers Motel. I say this because the courtesy, service and spirit of friendship exhibited by the people that run this motel was way above what was to be expected. David, the proprietor, went out of his way to make our stay a holiday we will remember for many years.

Above and beyond really sum up the effort this place puts in to make the guests feel at home and in combination with a lovely setting they really deserve a rap for a job well done. Well be back!

Dan and Katrina Mack


Oil emergency looms

There is a lot of misinformation around regarding oil, so I would like to take this opportunity to set the record straight.

When we started using oil in 1859 the planet contained two trillion barrels of oil. At present we have used about half of that and are now in decline. The world is currently using about 27 billion barrels a year which (at that rate) gives us another 37 years. But (and its a big but) this does not account for China and Indias rapidly rising consumption rates and the fact that a lot of the remaining oil is just too costly to extract. There is little point spending two barrels of oil to extract one, for example. This means that modern societys very lifeblood is soon (frighteningly soon) to be no more!

Almost everything we use is produced or runs on fossil fuels. Cars, planes, appliances, lighting, heating, clothing, air-con, fertilisers, medicines, supermarkets, you name it. The implications are staggering.

The resource wars have already begun and we can expect a dramatic increase in global strife on a local and international level.

We are woefully unprepared for this and simply do not have a suitable replacement energy source. Current alternative energy sources will barely scratch the surface of our current energy use. Coal and nuclear power will make a comeback but coal is extremely dirty and also limited and nuclear power stations take about 10 years to get up and running and need lots of oil to make. Natural gas will follow the same path as oil.

With energy supply problems, cities will become unlivable for most and the mass migration of people looking for food and water will create havoc (keep an eye on Indonesia). The average city suburbanite has no idea how to grow food, keep animals and has zero basic pre-industrial skills. The 3.2 billion people who live in urban environments will have a tough time and millions are simply not going to survive.

I could go on and on but instead I recommend you read The Long Emergency by James Howard Kunstler who spells out what we can expect rather well.

Myles Davidson

Global Warning Action Committee


Equality vetoed

John Howard has announced that marriage, as we know it, will be undermined by the legislation of same-sex unions. He intends to veto any move to guarantee legal equality for gays and lesbians in the ACT. He will enshrine his objection in a piece of discriminatory legislation.

Why, for any reason other than discrimination, should my wife and I receive entitlements not available to gay and lesbian couples? There are laws that deny them access to Medicare, workers compensation and tax concessions, to name a few. Would we be affected if they receive them?

How will legalising same-sex unions undermine and downgrade traditional marriages? The sanctity of marriage is a myth when you consider how heterosexual couples have been abusing it for generations.

Howard has misled the electorate time and time again and been allowed to get away with it. Have we become a nation of Judases happy to sell our souls for a healthy economy? Human rights dont seem to mean anything to us any more. He tells us what the majority of Australians think and were so apathetic we accept it. But of course homosexuals are something else again, arent they. Give them an inch and theyll white-ant our whole society. Well thats what Howard and Ruddock would have us believe.

Barry Walsh


Indebted for life?

I love religion and science. So scientifically analysing the various theologies currently ruling the mindset of the species I find it impossible to choose one. Yet I know I am not alone.

I am alive and there is light, yet I know there will be darkness. I will use the light to guide me through the darkness. Finding your way through the light looking at the darkness is a waste of life. If there is life after death we are all children and as individuals our own dogma must evolve with each new test. The search for truth is spiritual harmony. This is why we cant buy happiness.

So we buy more cars with money the banks create. And the fumes create more global warming. Makes me wonder if the third world debt created by dam construction in the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s didnt serve a dual purpose. 1) Keep the third world poor. 2) Hide evidence of global warming.

We were lucky our government didnt borrow money to build the snowy mountains hydro scheme. Look whos going to own it now. This debt based economy is a fraud.

Marcus Davis


Excuses, excuses

It is crystal clear. Australia broke UN sanctions in paying bribes to Iraq. Our goverment was responsible to ensure that those sanctions were not broken by any Australian citizen and company. Each Minister is resposible for our government. If you are in doubt, just read the actual UN resolution: Resolution 661 Adopted by the Security Council on August 6 1990... all States shall not make available to the Government of Iraq or to any commercial, industrial or public utility undertaking in Iraq or Kuwait, any funds or any other financial or economic resources and shall prevent their nationals and any persons within their territories from removing from their territories or otherwise making available to that Government or to any such undertaking any such funds or resources and from remitting any other funds to persons or bodies within Iraq or Kuwait, except payments exclusively for strictly medical or humanitarian purposes and, in humanitarian circumstances, foodstuffs.

This is not about just doing business. This is about breaking UN sanctions, the same sanctions that lead to our country being at war.

Payments to the regime continued to be made after the start of the war. $300 million pays for a lot of firepower, which no doubt were used against our soldiers.

Downer, Vaile and possibly the PM could be guilty of aiding and abetting the enemy, Iraq, by allowing these payments to be made.

Hicks has been in Guantanamo Bay for almost three years on allegations far less serious that these ones. Yet our government still uses that false excuse we knew nothing. How can we allow a government to remain in power that sends Australia to war on what is, at best, bad intelligence, and at worst, a lie. And at the same time, illegally finance the same regime?

Now it seems that Iran will be next. What excuse will this government use to get us in another war and what odds that the ramping up to war will coincide with the next election.What exactly does Howard have to do to be kicked out by this apathetic electorate?

Aniko Papp


Remarkable omissions

Jim Lees exposition about Silencing inquiring minds (Echo, April 13) is more remarkable for what it omits than for what it says.

Jim complains that Christianity fosters intolerance of those who have not yet suffered indoctrination. He omits to say that those who have an atheistical and evolutionary view of the world also foster intolerance of those who do not accept their views. They control the media and the educational system so that from our earliest years we are conditioned to think of evolution as the only answer on origins. Scientists who have found evidence for an alternative view will not get their papers published in scientific papers. Are those editors promoting the rightful exercise of human freedom and reasoning?

Jim complains that Christianity lays great emphasis on guilt. He seems to have missed the whole point, which is that Christ presents to us a wonderful way of escaping that guilt. Belief in Jesus has converted Pacific Island cannibals to peace-loving people, and alcoholics and drug addicts to useful citizens. Is that removing their potential in a real world? Jim may be surprised to know that some Nazi war criminals died as believers even though it did not save them from execution.

I am sorry that Jim has been put off by teachings about eternal doom (hell). I believe Scripture does teach final destruction by fire, but does not teach an ever burning hell.

Now that Jim has been freed from the shackles of Christianity, what is his alternative view of the mysteries of existence, purpose, and origin? He does not tell us.

Don Halliday


Seeking the truth

I dont know why the Northern Rivers Echo puts a cartoon into its letters pages, when letters from some correspondents are so laughable that theyre even funnier than that weeks Hinzes View.

Jim Lees asserts that Christianity holds almost absolute control over those who follow its dogmas Any belief holds absolute control over those who believe it otherwise it would not be a belief! A belief is not restricted to matters of faith either. Any letter to the editor contains somebodys belief, be it a comment on a local issue or an anti-government rant.

What the reader does then is to decide whether or not to agree. Whether one agrees or disagrees, action is called for. If I agree, I will become a proponent of that system; if I disagree then I should form a reasonable, logical argument against the proposal. In matters of faith; if I believe that the Bible contains truth, then I must uphold a lifestyle that reflects that belief. If I do not believe, then I must have a logical reason to reject it. Over 2000 years many have tried to discredit the Bible scientifically, historically and philosophically and every attempt has failed to conclusively prove that the claims of that book are fraudulent.

As to Mr Lees claims that Christians are held captive to fear and guilt, then I agree to an extent. As human beings we are socialised into conforming at each stage of our lives. As children, we must obey our parents or else are punished and the same holds during our schooling. As adults, we must obey the dictates of our employers or else face unemployment. All citizens must obey the rules as set down by governments and law-makers (at least until those laws are overturned by lobbying for change). However, as a Christian, I believe there are eternal consequences for the choices I make in life. To put a name to these choices Heaven or Hell. I do not however believe that Heaven is populated by people with wings, sitting on clouds and playing harps; nor do I believe Hell is a fire and brimstone realm populated with little red demons running around with pitchforks. We will forever be in, or separated, from the presence of God.

Finally, Mr Lee claims that Christians are forbidden by his (sic) own conscience to examine truth as presented from any other source May I remind Mr Lee of the scripture found in the book of Acts, Chapter 17, Verse 11, which reads, And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Pauls message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to check up on Paul and Silas, to see if they really were telling the truth I encourage any sincere seeker of the truth to investigate the claims of Christianity. Read reliable articles for and against, search the internet, and perhaps even visit a church to meet people like yourself, from every age group, every race and profession who believe that the hope for humanity is found in the person of Jesus Christ.

Scott Forster


Fighting against fluoride

As a consumer I had been purchasing and drinking fizzy drinks and beverages such as lemonade and soda water for many years. Lately, for my health reasons, I have decided to eliminate from my diet, on top of added sugars and salts, chemical additives; so I purchased The Official Food Additives and Labels Guide to become an informed shopper. Firstly I questioned the supermarkets but with no clear answer from them I questioned the Food Authority NSW (phone line 1300 552 406) on whether the listed ingredient water was always and only pure filtered water, or was fluoridated water, within these products and others.

To my total surprise I was informed by Food Authority NSW that I was the very first person who had asked them this question. When I also pointed out that fluoride was not even listed as an additive in The Official Food Additives and Labels Guide and that fluoride had no additives number (unlike MSG 621, etc) yet was clearly an additive to water, I was told that one of their labelling experts would phone me back, quote As soon as possible.

More than six days have now passed and I have yet to be contacted by any expert. Therefore I wish to publicly lodge my concerns through your paper that; Any listed ingredient being water could be (and probably is) fluoridated water, without the consumer being informed.

This is a serious breach and should be pursued as a matter of urgency by the media. Fluoride is a poisonous by-product of the aluminium industry (Fluorspar cryolite a highly toxic and oxidising agent) and it is already added to most toothpastes (listed as an additive). It is proposed to be added to our tap water (unlisted as an additive) and is very obviously underhandedly added to fizzy drinks, beverages, canned fruit and vegetables, sauces and fruit juices (all unlisted as an additive). I for one am left wondering which, if any, government department monitors a so-called safe level of consumption (I doubt if there is such a thing) before fluoride reaches levels of toxic build-up within our childrens and our own bodies.

Is this a conspiracy to stunt our reasoning capacity as was trialled under Hitlers nazi regime to control the masses? By the above facts and easy verification, at least this letter can not be tagged a mere conspiracy theory! George Orwell once said that, Omission is the greatest form of lie. I now believe him. Be warned. Your health is in your own hands. Fight for it!

Gary Slater

Lillian Rock

Dont believe the hype

They never give up! This business of the fluoridation of our water supplies becomes curiouser and curiouser!

Considerable deviation from the truth has occurred in the pro-lobbys presentation of their case. They minimise the risks. They dont inform us of the established facts of serious conditions resulting from the ingesting of fluoride. They lied about the statements of Professor Doug Steyn who worked on the subject of pathologies caused by the ingestion of fluoride in Africans on the Kenhardt Reserve in Africa. I knew Professor Steyn from my time in Africa. He had researched flourosis for some 23 years, and condemned its use prophylacticly.

The pro-lobby claimed he had changed his mind, and now approved its use. I wrote to Professor Steyn querying this statement, and he told me that not had he not changed his mind, but that he was even more opposed than ever. Why did the pro-flouridists lie about the statements of a respected scientist? I was never able to find out!

I would like to draw attention to the work of a very highly qualified and respected scientist, Dr Charles Elliott Perkins. Qualified in chemistry, bio-chemistry, physiology and pathology. He was sent to Germany after the war (which one, weve had so many!?) to work with the chemists of I.G. Farden, the industrial giant whose octopus-like world wide network still exists today.

The war work on fluoride was conducted on instructions from the G.G.G.S. (Greater German General Staff.) The Faben chemists told Perkins that their work on fluoride indicated that repeated small doses will in time reduce an individuals power to resist domination by slowly poisoning, and narcotising a certain area of the brain. Fluoride was introduced to the Czechoslovakian water supply. I remember that the nation was the only European nation that did ##not have an active underground movement. Coincidental perhaps.

In 1954, Professor Perkins, in a lecture to the Victorian Government, gave all this information, including that concerning the affect of fluoride on the brain. Subsequently, Premier Rupert Hamer promised the Victorian people that he would not sanction fluoridation without a referendum. Nevertheless, being a good politician, fluoridation went ahead without a referendum. The State Minister for Health at the time was Mr Rossiter. He had legislation passed protecting any politician involved in the fluoridation of Victorias water supply from any legal action stemming from adverse effects of fluoridation!

It is currently being suggested that after informed discussion we either permit local authorities to decide whether or not to fluoridate, or have a referendum.

There are several scientific websites which cover this most important subject. I suggest that people who have a computer look it up. For those who dont, there are machines in the local library.

The only chance we have in this serious matter, is to demand a referendum, and dont let local government pass the buck to state government, which they can do. Remember Honest John and the GST. And Rupert Hamer and his referendum!

Jim Inness


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crowd gathers at the Rous Hotel to hear about compassion in politics

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Local women's health centre gets five abortion inquiries a month